From 22-24th February 2017, together with the Essl Foundation and the European Foundation Centre, we convene the sixth Zero Project Conference at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. The event is dedicated to celebrate and highlight 11 Innovative Policies and 56 Innovative Practices that have advanced disability-inclusive employment and vocational education and training from around the world. As in the past years, we expect more than 500 participants from more than 70 countries to join this international summit, which will consist of 35 events, workshops and panels, engaging close to 200 speakers. Read more
From 17 to 20 October 2016 HABITAT III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, will be held in Quito, Ecuador. At the HABITAT III conference, Governments are expected to adopt the New Urban Agenda that will guide the sustainable and inclusive development of the world’s cities for next 20 years.
On the occasion of the 31st Human Rights Council, the Permanent Mission of Austria and the International Disability Alliance, together with the Permanent Missions of Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, Spain, and Thailand, supported by the Zero Project, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council, will hold a side event on “Inclusive Education and ICTs for All: Towards Accessible and Sustainable Societies”. The event will take place at Room XXI, Palais des Nations, on 9th March 2016, at 12-2pm.
Visit the Zero Project website for more information.
From 10-12th February 2016, together with the Essl Foundation and the European Foundation Centre, we convened the fifth Zero Project Conference at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. The event was dedicated to celebrate and highlight close to 100 Innovative Policies and Innovative Practices that advanced inclusive education and accessible ICTs for persons with disabilities from around the world.
With 516 participants from more than 70 countries and with 35 events, workshops and panels, engaging close to 200 speakers and chairs, the Zero Project Conference 2016 on “Inclusive Education and ICT” was a great success and the climax of 5 years of collective efforts with the Essl Foundation. WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull praised Martin and Gerda Essl for their commitment.
Inclusive education should become reality for all
One of the highlights of the conference was the moving opening keynote speech delivered by Judy Heumann, who serves currently as Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S Department of State. Her powerful message, as well as her own personal experience underlined the importance of an inclusive education system.
Technology Show – Learn and Play!
On the second night, a special Technology Show was organized in cooperation with Innovative Practices representatives who presented their assistive and accessible devices, apps, web and communication tools in an entertaining 60-minutes spectacle. In particular, a drone flying in the Plenary Room was quite the sight!
More than 30 plenary and breakout sessions, plus an exhibition …
The numerous conference sessions covered a broad range of topics concerning Inclusive education and ICT, from regional, national to international policy; from non-formal education to e-accessibility standards and e-learning tools, from vocational training to anti-bullying, inclusive education in emergencies, and early childhood interventions, amongst others, ensuring that each participant could gain insights and satisfy his or her interests in the best possible way.
You can learn more about the highlighted Innovative Policies and Practices, the conference sessions as well as outcomes & key recommendations, browsing the conference’s retrospective or visiting its dedicated website.
To learn more about the work of the Zero Project, click here.
5 March 2015, Geneva: Side event at the Human Rights Council
- H.E. Lenín Voltaire MORENO GARCES, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility (video)
- Catalina DEVANDAS, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Lisa MCNABB, Down Syndrome International: What means Independent Living for me?
- Nadia HADAD, European Network on Independent Living: My human rights through Independent Living?!
- Frédérique WIEMEIJER, Essl Foundation & Ingrid HEINDORF, World Future Council: The Zero Project Report 2015 on Independent Living & Political Participation – Social Indicators, Innovative Practices and Policies
- H.E. Thani THONGPHAKDI, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the UN in Geneva,
- H.E. Regina Cordeiro DUNLOP, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN in Geneva, &
- H.E. Yisheng REN, Minister Counsellor of China to the UN in Geneva
Some 40-50 delegates of the Third Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in Maputo attended our side event on Creating accessible and inclusive societies: Accessibility under victim assistance norms organized together with the Permanent Mission of Austria on 24th June 2014. The event focused on the implementation of accessibility measures as part of victim assistance norms. Moderated by Ms. Caroline Wörgötter, Delegation of Austria, the event started with the opening keynote speech of H.E. Iolanda Maria Pedro Campos Cintura, Minister for Women and Social Affairs of Mozambique. Subsequently, the following panel speakers intervened:
- Ingrid Heindorf, Human Rights Officer, Zero Project / World Future Council (WFC): The Zero Project Report 2014 on Accessibility
- Firoz Ali Alizada, Campaign Manager, International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL);
- Claude Tardif, Head of Physical Rehabilitation Programme, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); as well as
- Albino Forquilha, Executive Director, Promoção da Paz, Prevenção do Crime e Reinserção Social (FOMICRES).
For more information visit: http://zeroproject.org/maputo/
On 11th June 2014, the Zero Project supported a side event on Creating accessible and inclusive societies for all: progress and challenges in implementing article 9 of the CRPD, organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Permanent Missions of Austria and Mexico, to highlight the importance of accessibility measures for persons with disabilities. Michael Fembek, Head of the Zero Project, was presenting the Zero Project Report 2014. The event took place at the UN Headquarters in New York on the occasion of the Seventh Session of the Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
For more information visit: http://zeroproject.org/new-york-new-york-new-york/ – http://zeroproject.org/the-zero-project-speaks-today-at-two-events-in-new-york/ – http://zeroproject.org/the-zero-project-at-side-event-of-this-years-conference-of-the-state-parties-to-the-convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/
On 1 April 2014, Ingrid Heindorf, Zero Project Head of Policy Research, participated at the Roundtable “Philantrophie & Handicap”, organized by the Chancellerie d’Etat du Genève and SwissFoundations, and hosted by Fondation Lombard Odier. About 50 representatives of foundations and public authorities attended and discussed how public-private partnerships can further improve the situation of persons with disabilities.
After the welcome and introduction by Mauro Poggia, Geneva State Councellor, and Anja Wyden Guelpa, Geneva State Chancellor, the roundtable speakers Marc Maugué, Fondation Wilsdorf, and Stephan Eliez, Fondation Pôle autisme, elaborated on their experiences with public-private partnerships in the area of disability. This first part was moderated by Karin Jestin, Secretary General of Fondation Lombard/Swissfoundations.
The second part of the roundtable was moderated by Anja Wyden Guelpa, Geneva State Chancellor. It discussed, firstly, selected innovative practice examples from the Zero Project Report 2013 and, secondly, the current work of Geneva’s Disability Directorate with Michel Blum. From the Zero Project Report 2013, Ingrid Heindorf presented in particular Discovering Hands, which engages blind women to detect breast cancer, and Specialisterne, which provides meaningful jobs to people with autism. Both examples caught considerable attention from participants. >>Invitation >>Programme >>Presentation >>Article in Feuille d’avis officielle de la Republique et Canton de Genève (in French, PDF)
For more information visit: https://www.ge.ch/philanthropie/rencontres-philanthropiques/philanthropie-handicap.asp
On the occasion of the 25th Human Rights Council, the Permanent Mission of Austria and the International Disability Alliance, together with the Permanent Missions of Ethiopia, Finland, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Thailand, supported by the Zero Project, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council, held a side event on “Re-engineering society for inclusion: Implementation of the CRPD and other international obligations on accessibility”. The event, which took place at Room 27, Palais des Nations, on Thursday 20th March 2014, at 1-3pm, was moderated by H.E. Thomas Hajnoczi, Ambassador of Austria, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations Office at Geneva. Speakers were:
- Michael Fembek, Head of the Zero Project, Essl Foundation (Presentation in PDF)
- Ellen Walker, Human Rights Officer, Intergovernmental Processes, International Disability Alliance (IDA)
- Firoz Ali Alizada, Campaign Manager, International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
- Krista Orama, Associate Expert, Human Rights and Disability, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
- Susan Schorr, Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
For more information, visit: http://zeroproject.org/hrc25/
Vienna: The third Zero Project Conference was held at the United Nations International Centre. More than 30 innovative practices and policies from around the world covering all areas of accessibility were presented. Topics included disability-inclusive development policy, barrier-free cities, internet accessibility, accessible products and services, and much more. More than 400 participants from around the world were attending. For more information, see the website of the Zero Project.